The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

Pyotr Tchaikovsky / Toer van Schayk, Wayne Eagling

  • Act I

    50 min.

  • Intermission

    20 min.

  • Act II

    50 min.

Duration: ca. 2 hrs

Ballet féerie in two acts
Libretto: Marius Petipa after E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story
World premiere: Mariinsky Theatre, Sankt Petersburg, 6 December 1892
Polish premiere: Teatr Nowości, Warsaw, 30 December 1922
Premiere of this production: Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam, 13 December 1996
Premiere by the Polish National Ballet: Teatr Wielki, Warsaw, 25 November 2011

The story unfolds in Warsaw in the early 19th century. Famous German Romantic author E.T.A. Hoffmann lived here briefly. Some people believe that the tale of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King was born in his mind at the house in Freta Street, where he told it to the children of his friend Hitzig and only later wrote it down and had it published in Berlin. One such person is outstanding Dutch stage designer and choreographer Toer van Schayk. As the setting of the Warsaw production he chose the Hitzig home with its winter panorama of the River Vistula and the Royal Castle. He gave Clara a brother called John, and even invited Hoffmann himself to the Hitzigs’ house. It was in such scenery that he presented the charming tale of the festive adventures of young Clara and her fantastic escape from the mice to the land of toys and then inside a magic lantern. This ballet leaves an indelible impression.



Polish National Ballet
Orchestra of the Teatr Wielki  Polish National Opera


  • Patron of Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera

  • Partners of Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera

  • Partner of the Polish National Ballet:

  • Media patrons of Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera

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